- 1 Consumers prefer email
61% of consumers want to hear from brands via email (+24% YoY).
- 2 Engagement is increasing
Time spent reading emails is up 7% from 2011 to 2016.
- 3 Email is the ROI King
The median ROI is 4X higher than social, direct, and paid search.
- 4 There is too much SPAM
45% of all email is SPAM, costing businesses worldwide billions.
- 5 We (mostly) fail at email
New tech and laws are pushing email marketers to change or die.
- 6 We can get better at email
Focus on outcomes: Deliver, Hook, Engage and Act.
The Future of Email
Email has been around for 40+ years and nearly every internet user has multiple email accounts.
Yet, you’ve heard the tales of email’s death for decades.
Email is not dead. It’s evolving, and it’s happening quickly – like right now!
Today you’ll explore consumer outlook, device evolution, and AMP for Email.
Optimistic consumer outlook
Litmus and Fluent found that consumers are optimistic about the future of email, believing it more likely for email to exist in 10 years than Facebook, Cable TV, and Twitter:
This optimism is shared by two key demographics:
1. Older millennials
2. Well off consumers
Rapid device evolution
The latest Litmus data (Q1 2018) shows that mobile remains king with 46.5% of all email opens:
Due to Gmail’s tracking limitations (image caching), Litmus believes mobile accounts for 67% of all email opens:
Most emails continue to be read on iPhone and in Gmail with a combined market share of 56%
Good email marketers understand the importance of optimizing the Plain Text version of each email
and with the rise in adoption of the Apple Watch and gadgets alike, we must now consider optimizing Text for wearables.
In the case of the Apple Watch, you can improve your customer experience by creating a new format “text/watch-html” to add Rich Text concepts such as Bold, Italics, and Underline to your emails.
Check out the difference!
Video Support is Improving
Email on Acid found that HTML 5 video support is increasing, with the supporting email clients representing 62% of the market:
It won’t be long until the rest of the email clients follow suit.
Meanwhile, if the majority of your subscribers use Apple Mail, consider sending that segment of your list a series of emails with embedded video:
Adding videos in email can be tricky, no doubt about it.
But if you don’t test it, how will you know it it’s worth the effort or not?
AMP for Email
Making email cool again!
Imagine needing to mass promote an event to your leads.
Today, you might:
- Automate a series of emails
- each taking your leads to an event page
- that asks them to fill out a form
- which routes them to a thank you landing page
- where they can add the event to their calendars
- which takes two more steps
- oh.. and don’t forget the confirmation email!
In a world where consumers are used to instant gratification, this feels like a crappy experience.
But lucky for you (and your leads), email technology is evolving.
AMP for Email offers the potential to deliver interactive microsite like experiences to your subscribers without them ever leaving the inbox!
Here’s how Doodle used AMP to handle a similar scenario with a single email:
Pssst… This very same email also included a live survey and dynamic content which automatically changed in the inbox (post send) 🤯
- Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in 2015.
- AMP is used to build websites that load super fast (4X faster than without AMP).
- AMP pages support interactive content, user input, and dynamic interactions.
- AMP for Email is currently in Beta and planned for release in late 2018.
- It’s freaking awesome!
- You can update previously sent emails with real-time content.
- Your subscribers can interact with your emails without leaving the inbox:
- Videos, animation, forms, and image galleries
- RSVPing to events
- Filling out surveys
- Browsing online stores (is buying phase 2!?)
- Booking flights
- and much, much more!
Check out two more examples of AMP for Email in Action:
Subscribers view live deals and update their email preferences:
Subscribers browse their Pinterest feed and instantly pin their favorites:
- It’s Gmail centric and it will likely not play well with your ESP.
- More time = more money. Your developers will need to account for 3 versions of each email (HTML, Plaintext, and AMP):
- May risk not being adopted. If major ESPs and other email clients don’t adopt this, AMP for Email may never take off.
AMP for Email has received a fair amount of negative criticism within the email community, with skeptics thinking AMP won’t be worth the effort unless more email clients and ESPs adopt it.
There are fair concerns, but boom or bust, AMP for Email still excites me!
Brands succeed when they put customers first.
Today, you’re likely using email to drive leads and customers to a next step, outside the inbox:
This tactical approach creates friction, forcing your subscribers to take multiple steps to get to your desired result.
In the previous post, we discussed a different way of thinking about email, based on outcomes: Deliver, Hook, Engage, Act.
Today, both frameworks are similar in their delivery but as technology like AMP evolves, focusing on the desired outcome will help you create more compelling and engaging experiences for your end users.
If AMP or future innovation alike can help marketers create better customer experiences then I’m in!
Want to learn more?
Watch Google’s announcement at AMP Conf 2018:
What’s your take on the future of email?
Let me know in the comments below.